Crossing Over (flash fiction)

The old man lay on his death bed waiting for his last breath. Only his wife of sixty years remained with him in this lonely hour.

“We have had a great life together,” Catherine whispered to him as his eyes opened and then closed.

The old man half smiled and tried to nod his head.

“I will miss you my dear, but your time has come to cross over.”

Catherine’s mind wandered as she contemplated his passing…

“Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end.”

“As your soul becomes one with the universe, the thought of beginnings and endings will be no more. The spirit of creation will carry you into the joy of your existence; beyond all that you could ask or think!”

His breathing became more shallow. She held his hand, as John drew his last breath.

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, we are doing Prosery (flash fiction of exactly 144 words). Merril has chosen a line from Jo Harjo’s “A Map to the Next World.” The line must be included in our story.

The line is: “Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end.”

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com then click on the Mr. Linkey box to read more…

Stairway to Heaven

A little girl saw a long wooden ladder, with wheels as tall as she was, sitting inside the Cathedral door. Seeing the priest greeting Sunday parishioners nearby, she reached over tugging on the arm of his robe.

Her mother quickly pulled her away and said, “Don’t bother the priest while he is greeting people!”

The priest overhearing what was happening said, “It is quite alright. What would you like to know young lady.”

“Is that the stairway to heaven?” she asked.

“No child, Heaven is much farther away than this ladder could reach. This one is for changing our lightbulbs.”

“Well, where is God?” asked the little girl.

“Oh, Only mouths are we, who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the center of all things? God is the center of all that exists, both near and far.”

“And, thank you for asking.”

Today at d’Verse, Sanaa introduced a Prosery prompt. It requires a short prose piece, only 144 words, that includes a line from a poem that she has chosen. The line is“Only mouths are we. Who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the center of all things? – from Rainer Maria Rilke, “Heartbeat.”

Join us at: Https://dversepoets.com

Photo from the Stasbourg Cathedral: Dwight L. Roth

Prayers

Prayers

Prayer is love sent by way of heaven

Encouraging those we love in their time of need

“Thoughts and prayers” is not just a cliché

It is a way of showing God’s love… sending virtual hugs

Hopefully bringing comfort and support

Letting them know they are truly loved

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

At the End of the Road…

What is you concept of God and heaven? A couple of years ago, I reflected on the concept of God that I was taught as a child; what the Bible taught us about God, and now, in my winter of life, what I think about those images and concepts. I saw this sign along the road a few years ago. This poem addresses more questions than answers. What do you visualize when you think of God?

At the end of the road when my life is done

what will I find will there be one…

who will meet me there at the pearly gates

with hands outstretched  no need to wait?

Will he be tall, short, fat, or thin;

When he sees me will he break out with a grin?

*

Interesting to me how we fantasize

seeing God like us, as we rationalize…

Dreaming that descriptions of hands and face

describe a reality that has no race.

Metaphors become reality as we describe our God,

forgetting he is Spirit, and that would be odd;

For a Spirit has no shape, no hands to hold tight

Only a presence of the purest light.

*

So whether God is he she or it,

the God we meet will probably not fit

the idea we have in the back of our mind.

Won’t it be interesting what we will find

…at the end of the road?

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Distillation

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Distillation
What is spiritual rejuvenation, but a distillation?
Rising above the fray // Soul and spirit refreshed
Letting go the earthly // heart drawn to God
A soul cleansing bringing purity and wholeness

Distillation
Occurs over and over again throughout life
Lifted by the sunlight of God’s Love
Wrapped in the warmth of God’s Grace.
Restoration always comes with distillation

Distillation
When we come to the end our journey
Our final distillation complete…
Our spirit rises unencumbered
Pure and refreshed into the presence of God

***

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Shedding Religion… Finding God

The older I get the simpler life becomes
I feel sort of like a tree shedding it bark
End of life // is not too far in the future;
makes me stop and think…
“What is really important and true?”
The older I get
the more focused faith becomes;
Moving beyond religious trappings
guilt, fear, and control;
(Knowing those
were nailed to the cross for me.)
Understanding God’s grace in my life
brings me peace;
Knowing I am blessed
to have lived this long
in good health.
I let go of all those things
I once felt obligated to do;
Understanding that the metaphors,
taken so literally by some,
Are there to guide me along the way…
not to prove right or wrong.
I let go of “streets paved with gold”
and “mansions over the hilltop…”
knowing God is Spirit;
No need there
of physical things
we hold so dear.
I believe the image of God
is not flesh and blood
nor what I put on or take off,
but rather an attitude of spirit
that is loving and compassionate.
I came to the realization
that all those prayers I prayed
demanding results
never got past the ceiling.
I realize prayer is meant
to change me // not them
Prayer brings me closer to God,
as I focus on my needs
and the needs of others.
Infomercial religion has no appeal to me
…nor or to God…
There is no place for peddling the gospel
for personal gain…
nor to exert control over the faithful.
Hamster cage religion
leaves me frustrated
and going in circles;
Faith and action bring a feeling
of authenticity and connection.
Church should be uplifting…
an encouraging fellowship
full of good news
connecting us with God
showing us how to love as Jesus loved.
To me the Bible is my guide …
not my God…
words of truth to live by.

Photo:  Dwight L. Roth

Waiting for Heaven (a Ghazal)

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Obsolete // life’s most difficult burden
Life lingers on as you wait for heaven

Your rising soul resists the dimming light
Strong and powerful //waiting for heaven

Time and physical tolls // body wears out
Still you struggle // not ready for heaven

Mind and body fail you // yet life goes on
Disappear // four walls // waiting for heaven

The end is near // it is perfectly clear
Breathing is difficult // nearing heaven

Spirit rises // all earthly struggles cease
Safe in the arms of God // you reach heaven

A few years ago we waited while my mother-in-law was coming to the end of her life. I wrote a poem at that time called Waiting to Die, which was a combination of what I felt about life and what was actually taking place.  Today, I have condensed those thoughts into a Ghazal for d’Verse Poets Pub.  The Ghazal is from an ancient Arabic poety that writes in couplets of the same length. They end in each couplet with the same or similar words. It us usually about love, life, or pain. This is my second attempt at a Ghazal.

You can join us at:  https://dversepoets.com

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

What’s Up?

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If, when we die,
we go up to heaven…
Do folks in the Southern Hemisphere
go down?
And when we travel
out in space…
Do we go up or down?
Up seems only valid
when there is
an Earth that grounds us…
Looking up!

Earth Rise Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Quadrille Monday…   Today, at d”Verse, De Jackson asked us to consider the word up. I decided to attempt to add a bit of humor to my Quadrille of only 44 words.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

 

The Heavenly White House

Whitehouse Christmas Ornament

In Heaven the White House will be made of gold

With greenery all around // accenting the shiny and bold

The rooms filled with portraits of Presidents past

Looking for ones whose die was cast

In truth and justice, moral fortitude and integrity

As the Presidents pass by // each with a door key

They’re believing and hoping their key will fit the door

As they’re walking up the steps // they are still not sure

As many come and go // their keys won’t fit the lock

Those remaining really wonder as time stops on the clock

For those who have not arrived there is an encouraging note

We’ll leave the light on for you // there is always hope

That somewhere down the line we’ll find

One with justice and integrity and an honest mind

To live in the Golden White House in the pines

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

 

Which Way is Up?

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Photo:  darkmatterspace@wordpress.com

It seems funny to me that we talk about going up to heaven when we die. Which way is up? Depending on the continent we live on it could be a lot of different directions. Nevertheless, when we think of the heavens we are covering a vast expanse beyond the human mind. We are in a small miniscule part of this great cosmos. If the cosmos were a human being, they would have to use an electron microscope just to find the Milky Way Galaxy! How small we must be!

Is Heaven up there

hidden in the Milky Way…

An eternal Spring?

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Frank Tassone asked us to write a Haikai poem of our choice that alludes to or mentions the Milky Way. Join us at:

#Haikai Challenge #51 (9/15/18): Milky Way (amanogawa) #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga